Haverhill Opens 425 New Parking Spaces Downtown as Garage Closes in Advance of Development

Expanded parking lot between Haverhill Police Station and Pentucket Medical accessible via Bailey Boulevard. (WHAV News photograph.)

(Additional photographs below.) An interim parking plan with more than 425 spaces available is now in effect as downtown Haverhill’s Merrimack Street parking garage closed for good Monday.

In addition to the 387 parking spaces created in new temporary or expanded parking lots, the city negotiated with TD Bank for another 40 spaces, accessible from West Street, just off the main thoroughfare. Haverhill Economic Development and Planning Director William Pillsbury Jr. detailed the addition for WHAV.

“We reached out to them and said ‘Is it possible for the city to have use of that lot for a six-month period—a limited time, not looking to control it forever—and make it available for longer term parking during the day for Merrimack Street people and that anybody in the downtown can use’ and, fortunately, we were able to come to an agreement with them and they enabled us, free of charge, we were able to be use that lot for the next six months,” he said.

Pillsbury said the lot behind TD Bank will likely open Thursday when new paint striping is completed.

As WHAV reported first in April, additional parking includes new angled parking spaces along Bailey Boulevard, an expanded and recently paved parking lot between the Haverhill Police Station and Pentucket Medical, new surface lot adjacent to Harbor Place and a temporary lot next to the former Pentucket Bank building. Pillsbury said all of these supplement the existing How Street lot, which he noted, “nobody was in” Tuesday morning. Pillsbury said he believes that is evidence the interim parking plan is working.

“We’re trying to move cars around as efficiently as possible and give people a chance to park as close to the businesses as possible,” he explained.

Haverhill posted notices two weeks ago in front of the Herbert H. Goecke Jr. Memorial Parking Deck telling residents the garage was coming down to make way for a $160 million commercial and housing development with a new 600-car parking garage.

Despite the warning, officials said, the city was forced Monday to tow seven cars, including several unregistered, so that fencing could be erected around the soon-to-be-demolished garage. At the April meeting Pillsbury and Mayor Melinda E. Barrett pointed out an additional 130 temporary parking spaces will be created when the oldest part of the parking deck comes down.

Developer Salvatore N. Lupoli agreed that construction of apartments and commercial space will not begin until the new parking garage, consolidated on one corner of the site, is open. The new garage will be a precast, concrete structure expected to be completed by the summer of 2025.

TD Bank is allowing the city to use a spare 40-car parking lot accessible from West Street, off Merrimack Street. (WHAV News photograph.)

New parking lot, off Merrimack Street and adjacent to Harbor Place, fills what has been called somewhat tongue-in-cheek the “hole in the ground.” (WHAV News photograph.)

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